Saving horses and streamlining operations: Redwings Horse Sanctuary gallops ahead with Cascade

Redwings Horse Sanctuary is the UK’s largest horse sanctuary, rescuing horses in need for almost 40 years. Growing with speed over the last few years, Redwings now has around 400 members of staff, based in their head office in Norfolk and within their sites across the UK.

Covid introduced quite a lot of change for the charity, with many members of office staff moving into hybrid roles and an increase in part-time workers. Luckily, they had an HR system in place that could support this, with Cascade becoming a fundamental piece of software to the charity, whipping their processes into shape!

Straight from the horse’s mouth

Using Cascade HR since 2015, and integrating Payroll the following year, Redwings Horse Sanctuary is now a long-term Cascade user, with the system becoming crucial when they rapidly grew from 250 to 400 members of staff. Liz Halford, CEO Office Manager, has been involved with Cascade at Redwings from the start and can remember the need to change systems due to the expanding workforce. She tells us “Prior to 2015, everything was very manual, from holiday requests to sickness records to appraisals. For 250 people that wasn’t too taxing, but as the team grew, we felt the strain it was putting on the HR team and the need to have a system in place that could better support our needs was evident.”

More horsepower needed to support a growing team

When looking for a new system, a must-have for Redwings was flexible software that would allow them to create bespoke screens. Liz tells us, “We chose Cascade because it’s so flexible – we are very unique in how we run, which lots of charities are, but there are so many different parts of our organisation that need to be dealt with differently, and so we needed a system that would allow us to do that. We’re also able to run the exact reports we need and for charities, that data is incredibly important.”

Yay or neigh to integrated HR and Payroll…

Redwings knew they wanted an integrated system for HR and payroll as the team grew, losing the manual task of inputting data into both an HR and a separate Payroll system. Liz tells us, “We wanted software that would provide us with the tools to manage all our HR and payroll processes while enabling employees to self-serve their needs using a single, comprehensive system. Since implementing an integrated HR and payroll system, we’ve found we were able to streamline a lot of manual processes due to the system taking on a lot of the time-consuming admin.

Harnessing flexible working to improve employee satisfaction

Having worked with IRIS for over eight years now, Redwings knows Cascade inside and out and rarely needs to get in touch with the team for support. “We have a great relationship with our account manager and we’re in a great position where we can really do whatever we want with our Cascade account ourselves. The system is intuitive and the only time we really need to get in touch with IRIS is to add new licenses when we’ve grown the team.

People’s approach to work has changed over the past few years with many looking for flexible, part-time roles to fit around other commitments. Following Covid people’s work patterns changed considerably, the system has really supported us in being able to offer more flexible roles – and that’s helped us with our recruitment.”

Steph Coward, Managing Director, IRIS HCM comments, “Our charity software and services set out to save organisations hours of admin and effort, giving them the extra transparency they need, and simplify specific not-for-profit reporting and compliance responsibilities. It’s incredibly important that charities can spend more time doing the job they set out to do. Cascade should simplify complex tasks and automate repetitive ones, and I’m thrilled to hear that our partnership with Redwings Horse Sanctuary is going from strength to strength.”

A final note from Liz: “If you need a HR system that can be tailored to your needs, Cascade is ideal. The workflows and automatic triggers have made life so much easier for us and as a charity, I think a system that can be flexible is crucial.”

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